White supremacy groups try to infiltrate recent protests, influence the narrative

Some of the groups involved in racist demonstrations and chaos in Charlottesville in 2017 are also behind the violence in today’s protests. It's not a new tactic. @KCRW

6/4/2020 1:03:00 PM

Some of the groups involved in racist demonstrations and chaos in Charlottesville in 2017 are also behind the violence in today’s protests. It's not a new tactic. KCRW

As protests continue across the country over the police killing of George Floyd, white nationalist groups have been using the unrest to their advantage. This isn’t a new tactic.

But Trump blamed Antifa, a collection of people who protest fascism. And he’s blaming this disparate group of people again for today’s unrest.It turns out that some of the groups involved in Charlottesville are also behind the violence in today’s protests.

Kanye West Announces 2020 Presidential Bid, Elon Musk Supports Columbus statue toppled by Baltimore protesters Rapper Kanye West announces U.S. presidential bid on Twitter

The nonprofit Integrity First for America is suing the organizers of the Charlottesville “Unite The Right” rally for conspiring to commit violence. KCRW hears from the nonprofit’s executive director Amy Spitalnick.KCRW: Where do you see some of the same white nationalist groups as with the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in 2017 popping up now?

Amy Spitalnick: “It's really important to understand how these groups operate. Some are incredibly organized with military style hierarchies, and others are a little bit more amorphous. But the same trends we see throughout the board, whether it's in Charlottesville, or now, or the many other white supremacist attacks that have happened in between.

Just last night, a number of news outlets reported that a white supremacist group called Identity Europa, which is one of the defendants in our Charlottesville suit — they're the group that coined that phrase,"you will not replace us" — were posing as Antifa on Twitter to urge violence and looting during the protests. Twitter suspended the account the other day, but that tweet had gone viral, and it set people off who were concerned about violence in their communities and allowed people — including the president — to then say that they were going to target Antifa, deploy the military and so on.

The ways in which we see these extremist groups trying to co-opt a moment like this and use it to spread not just disinformation, but also hate and actual violence, is a sad trend that has been happening over and over again over the last few years.”Can you tell us more about the role of Identity Europa and what this organization is?

“There are a number of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups that are focused around this idea of identity. The idea of a white identity, and Identity Europa, believes that there should be a white homeland. They believe in the white identity being superior to all other white supremacist group in that sense. And their big claim to fame, if you will, was helping to organize the Charlottesville violence.

What happened in Charlottesville was not an accident. It was not spontaneous this violence. Rather, the violence was planned for months in advance on social media by a number of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, including Identity Europa. They talked about everything in advance: from what to wear, what to bring for lunch, which weapons to carry, and whether they could hit protesters with cars and then claim self-defense, which is, of course, ultimately what they did.

Kanye West announces he's running for president Eddie Glaude: ‘Allyship collapses when we view racial justice as a philanthropic enterprise’ 2 Oklahoma police officers accused of repeatedly using stun gun against man charged with his murder

Identity Europa in fuller played a role in which they organized white supremacists from around the country to descend on Charlottesville and help spur this weekend of violence. As you might expect, since they were sued by my organization and since they started seeing additional fallout fuel bad PR from their role in Charlottesville, they've tried to rebrand. They now go by American Identity Movement.

But at the end of the day, they are the same white supremacist organization that has been working to sow disinformation, fear, and violence. And of course, we are going to ensure that they remain liable for the violence that they caused in Charlottesville. Sadly, their role spreading disinformation and hate and violence right now during the George Floyd protests only underscores the importance of holding them accountable.”

Aside from posting fake tweets posing as Antifa, do you think that they are actually posing as demonstrators on the streets? Or that other alt-right groups are posing as demonstrators and causing havoc?“We don't know for sure exactly who is posing as who at this point. But what we do know is that there were a number of extremists — including a number of far right extremists — who are trying to take advantage of this moment and exploit it for their own gain.

We also know that there are armed extremists who are showing up at these protests and trying to start riots or urge what they call a"boogaloo," which is their code for a second civil war. You might know these guys by their automatic weapons and Hawaiian shirts, which are sort of the hallmarks of their boogaloo identity. And some might claim that they're there to protect the protesters. But I wouldn't let that fool you.

They're part of this loose coalition of far right militia extremists who believe in urging a second civil war or some sort of revolution. They're generally supportive of anti-government, violent resistance. And they think that these protests can serve as a catalyst for the violent upheaval that they've long wanted. We've seen a number of incidents over the last few days in which these boogaloo extremists have been showing up at protests with their automatic weapons.

In some cases, we've had folks arrested, including one who was arrested for firing shots at a Black Lives Matter rally the other day. We had the Department of Homeland Security warn law enforcement that white supremacists, including some of these boogaloo extremists, are encouraging their supporters to shoot protesters. One of these extremists said on Telegram (a social media site frequented by extremists), that they are encouraging them to,"frame the crowd around you for the violence."

Prince Harry says institutional racism is 'endemic' in society Biden vows to uproot systemic racism in Fourth of July message Barber slams ‘scarcity of will’ for economic issues plaguing U.S.

We've seen over and over again a number of these extremists go to these protests with their heavy weaponry, with their automatic weapons. And they either bring violence against the protesters themselves, or try to frame the protesters for violence. There's so many details that are still unknown. But these anecdotes definitely illustrate a concerning pattern.”

Where are they most active?“These extremists have been everywhere. We saw a report of police seizing automatic weapons and other tactical gear from boogaloo extremists in Denver. I believe one of the arrests of a protester, a rather up and armed extremist who was firing shots on the rally was in North Carolina. They're all over the country. And typically these extremists are finding each other online, on social media platforms like the very one in which the Charlottesville violence was planned.

They're inspiring each other with their memes, and with these other calls to violence. When an individual goes to one of these protests with their automatic weapons, wearing memes on their vests and shirt, wearing those Hawaiian shirts, it's part of this larger effort to co-opt these protests and spread their extremist ideology and use these protests; exploit them to further their really sick vision for a second civil war.”

By second civil war, do you mean a race war?“Exactly. I would say a race war in certain cases within the boogaloo movement. There are various ideologies as well. Some are straight up white supremacists who believe that we need a race war to spur the rise of a truly white society. Others are more focused on taking down the government itself. They're worried about the government"stealing their guns," and their"individual liberty." Within the movement it's important to understand that there are factions. There are certainly white supremacists within the boogaloo movement and ones who are doing so are sort of trying to use these protests to spur race war and bring about this collapse of society that they so crave.

Are there other groups that are more under the radar?“One hundred percent. I think over the next few weeks we're certainly going to learn a lot more about who might be coming to these protests. Or (who is) just coming in and looting, inciting violence, and trying to take advantage of a very legitimate protest and distract from it in order to spread their own hate and violence. I think that's really what this is all about at the end of the day. These are extremists who are trying to co-opt these protests in order to sow fear, to sow hate, and to distract from the actual issues at hand, which are racial justice and police brutality. As they continue to do this, it only serves to undermine the very legitimate protesters who are out on the streets rightfully sharing their grievances, and standing up for the justice that George Floyd and so many others deserve.”

MORE PROTEST COVERAGE FROM KCRW:PHOTOS: Witness 72 hours of rallies and rage on the streets of LAPHOTOS: LAPD arrests more than 500 demonstrators protesting police violence Read more: NPR »

AleMarVil kcrw 🌹👇👇👇🌜👌🌛👇👇👇🌹 AZritkodude kcrw Facts? Well, it doesn’t take rocket science to figure this out. kcrw Then it seems like maybe the white nationalists have recruited a seriously large number of black people into their cause. kcrw It was so obvious even from afar. What value would there be in attacking CNN in Atlanta for example? As killer Mike says one of the most integrated cities working in Georgia. But same when fascists marched amongst communists in Whitechapel London 1938. Nothing new under the sun.

kcrw Support the work of IntegrityforUSA & donate today! kcrw Wow! Your just now reporting this? The President has been saying this all along. If you reckless reporters would stop taking things out of context, sensationalizing and misinforming, your news would be more believable. kcrw While leftists are literally destroying liberal cities but NPR blames the right is so very on brand for NPR.

kcrw kcrw You guys do realize we can denounce violence all together and denounce Antifa and White Supremacists at the same time, no? DrPanMD kcrw Antifa are white supremacists kcrw So is Antifa. kcrw Someone in Grand Rapids was arrested for rioting, supposedly she has claimed she was paid $200, bused in from Detroit, and given a iron pipe. She was later photographed smashing a window with a large pipe. I hope this goes to trial so we can get some answers.

kcrw You show zero evidence to back up the reporting. This is very bad journalism. kcrw Fake news kcrw Time to stay out of the roads kcrw kcrw What group applied for and received a permit to be there that day? kcrw If it’s the radical right causing all the distraction, why is liberal celebs paying for their bail? Sorry...Fake need to stir the pot!

kcrw Then arrest them for breaking the law, this isn't hard. Why in the world are we letting them riot and loot? kcrw Fake news, kcrw Speaking of tactics. Your fake news isn’t new either. kcrw Antifa Beta Version 0.0 Start a race war to depopulate the Earth to save it from climate change kcrw Antifa Beta Version 0.1

kcrw Of course. Since the organizer of Charlottesville gathering was a Occupy Wal Street organizer and Obama supporter. qnp kcrw The Dumbest People on the planet. kcrw Would you look at all that white supremacy! Both sides are onto to the MSMs bullshit. Honest, objective journalism is dead. kcrw True

kcrw Yeah, same groups year in year out, decade in decade out, burning down their cities and looting their own stores. kcrw F U NPR kcrw kcrw “ a collection of people who protest fascism “ A single mention of Antifa lol yeah, ok. They’re just ‘ protesters ‘ lol Journalism is dead kcrw They gonna catch the roni

kcrw This was known. Who else besides these white supremacist terrorists working trump/putin's plan? kcrw Where is your proof. This article is fake news, because all the protestors, rioters and looters are members of the Democratic party. kcrw kcrw kcrw kcrw It’s like ANTIFA members are posing as Alt Right groups to shield their own identities. Who’s delivering all the Bricks to the protesters?

kcrw Has any photo footage been able to identify them? It’s be quite something to see some action taken against these pr*cks in trials. kcrw nPr national PROPAGANDA radio . they know racist because they are racist kcrw What a bunch of garbage, l live in Chicago and saw nothing of the sort. It was 99% blacks

kcrw Total bullshit. kcrw NPR sells Revenge as Justice. That is amoral. kcrw Lots of black white supremacists in the riots

Johnson & Johnson CEO on George Floyd protests: White men need to 'do more listening'Gorsky made his comments a day after announcing that J&J is committing $10 million over the next three years 'to fighting racism and injustice in America.' How about? Pay workers better. More minority recruitment at all levels. Sick leave and day care. Bland pronouncements don't do shit, bruh. jeffgoldesq Be prepared for Orange Twittler to order aides to start cutting contracts and/or refusing to pay for contracts that have been fulfilled by 3M. Interesting 🤔

Trump admits he went to White House bunker during George Floyd protests, but claims it was just for a brief 'inspection'President Donald Trump Trump denied that he took refuge in an underground White House bunker during intense protests outside the building over George Floyd's death. haha MaleehaMBCC Unreal

Bruce Springsteen Dedicates Radio Show to George Floyd, Denounces ‘Unfeeling’ White House Response While Country Is ‘On Fire’If you’ve been waiting for someone to deliver a comprehensive state of the nation address, Bruce Springsteen had one on his SiriusXM radio show Wednesday. And, unsurprisingly, he found the st… Bruce what are you talking about? Our President wants the Looting and killing to stop! Don't you? I sure hope so! The Boss never lets us down! Shout out to his family —David Guetta

White nationalist group posing as antifa called for looting on Twitter - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web. Trump: Let everyone be their own police What can go wrong? In other words, .realDonaldTrump 's buddies and accomplices in crime run.

White nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on TwitterA Twitter account posing as 'antifa' and pushing violent rhetoric related to ongoing protests has been linked to the white nationalist group, according to a Twitter spokesperson. Twitter has suspended the account. Piss off.. MSNBC is nothing more than an antagonistic manipulator of the riots and are enablers of the thievery going on right now. Lies.

Twitter removes account of white nationalist group posing as antifa onlineTwitter disabled an account that appeared to represent a violent Antifa group after it was determined to be a bogus front for a white nationalist group. There's more, we'll find them and out them. Effing racists hiding in the shadows. Never a surprise. What white nationalist group was behind it?